The United States is experiencing the world’s worst outbreak of COVID-19, which could soon spiral out of control unless urgent steps are taken to isolate confirmed cases and conduct contact tracing. That was the stark warning of top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci in testimony to a Senate committee on Tuesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: “When you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they’re doing well, they are vulnerable. I made that point very clearly last week at a press conference. We can’t just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk. We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day, if this does not turn around.”
Dr. Fauci’s warning came as eight states announced single-day highs, with a record 47,000 U.S. infections reported on Tuesday. The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population but has recorded more than a quarter of worldwide coronavirus cases and deaths. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom is set to announce new rollbacks of reopenings after a record rise in new cases and hospitalizations. In Houston, hospitals have begun transferring COVID patients to other parts of Texas, as the city has become a new epicenter of the pandemic. This is Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Peter Hotez: “It’s very alarming. The rate of acceleration is extreme. We’re seeing daily dramatic increase, almost a vertical slope, some of the models saying that we may be at 4,000 cases a day in Houston by early, middle July. So, that would be catastrophic for the city.”